I've often advised travelers with jam-packed itineraries to step back and leave themselves time to take a walk in a park or sit there a while, experiencing what the locals see and do. When we travel, it's one of our favorite things to do (we even compare parks in different cities and eras...but we're compulsive contexters).
But if you're as lucky as we are, you don't have to buy an airline ticket for a break in the park—we have Brooklyn's masterpiece Prospect Park in our backyard. Time enough for a bigger view of the park in the coming months; these pictures are from a late-afternoon ramble through the southern end of the park on a warm-for-winter day last January, a few months after Sandy left a mark.
Prospect Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the architects who earlier designed Manhattan's Central Park and later designed many parks all over North America, including the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, the park systems of Boston and Buffalo, and Mount Royal Park in Montreal.
[Winter special: Duck on Ice]
Many believe Prospect Park this was their masterpiece, and it is certainly their creation. A hilly slope was turned into a stark ravine, a farm into an inviting lake, a small spring into a water system with a river, a creek and a lullwater. Machines were built to move mature trees around, and the paths were underlaid with plumbing that collects and returns every drop of water to the lake. This is not nature, but it looks natural. More on the park another time...today's visit is just for a walk.
[I wasn't the only walker in the park that day]
[A large apartment building outside the park masquerades as a castle]
[Not a great day for swimming, but a great day for a gathering of the clan...]
[Phragmites has caused park problems over the years, but here it shows its best face]
[And hey, what's a park without a squirrel?]
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